Villegas, left and Duterte (Photo credit:
Villegas, left and Duterte (Photo credit:

MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – When Davao City Mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte cursed Pope Francis during a speech in Manila the other day, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) didn’t find it funny like many in the audience did.  Instead, it issued a strong statement condemning Duterte.

“When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laugh, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame. My countrymen have gone to the dregs,” said Bishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president.  He added:  “Vulgarity is corruption. When we find vulgarity funny, we have really become beastly and barbaric as a people.”

Well, the CBCP statement didn’t sit well with Duterte either.

The mayor called out the Catholic Church for its child abuse scandals, claiming he, himself, was a victim of child abuse by priests during his days at Ateneo de Davao, a Catholic university in his hometown.

Duterte virtually waged war against the Philippine Catholic Church, saying that “I have secrets, they have secrets.”

But after attending mass at a local church, Duterte, a Catholic, called for a ceasefire. “If you leave me alone, I will leave you alone,” he said, while urging his colleagues in Philippine Congress to pass a new legislation that would mandate the separation of church and politicians.

The CBCP is yet to respond to Duterte’s call for al ceasefire.


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